NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

May 17, 2014

Sam, Rams rookies on field for 2nd day

ST. LOUIS — Michael Sam stood out from an apparel standpoint when St. Louis Rams rookies worked out Friday.

The first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team was sporting gold sleeves under his jersey.

The former Missouri star was among the last four players to leave the field, getting extra special teams work after a workout that lasted about 1½ hours.

He’s wearing No. 96 after wearing No. 52 at Missouri. Outside linebacker Alec Ogletree, a first-round pick last year, has that number with the Rams.

The Rams have had their 11-man draft class, plus 14 undrafted free agents, on the field the last two days.

The Thursday session was not open to the media and the Friday session was open but without interview access to coaches or players.

Oprah Winfrey’s cable network is filming a documentary about Sam and was among those training cameras on the workout, all from a distance.

“Whether it’s one camera, two or three, you’ve still got to have a protocol and process,” general manager Les Snead said earlier in the week. “We’ll have that.”

No mere seventh-rounder, Sam was the star attraction Tuesday when the Rams introduced their 11-player draft class. He discussed rising from adversity and emerging from tiny Hitchcock, Texas.

“I wanted to get out, I wanted to do some great things, so I played sports,” he said. “I got better at football. I got better with my grades. I went to college. I was the first person in my family to graduate, and now I’m the first person in my family to go to the NFL. So, I just keep on fighting. Keep fighting the good fight.”

Players took physicals Wednesday before hitting the field for the first time.

The Rams cleared roster space to make room for some of their high draft picks, releasing running back Daryl Richardson and defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo.

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